Poetry by Alexander Payne Morgan

Read More: A brief interview with Alexander Payne Morgan

Everybody Ought to Love

algebra, because
seventy-nine times eighty-one is exactly the same as eighty squared minus one
you can tell how tall a tree is by measuring its shadow
we’ve got the equations to
fire a grain of salt from rotating orbiting apple earth and
hit rotating orbiting orange Mars a mile away
and, best of all, there’s always always a really really right answer.

Grits, because even though they have the worst name
God ever gave breakfast
even though they have been the soft center of sectarian fisticuffs
even though those who love’em obnoxiously insist you’ll love’em too
grits are a license to lick melted butter a lot cheaper than lobster.

Anteaters, because the Martians died out
millions of years ago when Mars lost her atmosphere
except for a Martian explorer and his wife, stranded
on earth with all those apes
and ever since they’ve been lying low, sucking ants, hiding out in zoos.

Dinosaurs, because I loved them when I was five
despite the goofball doubters
like my grandmother who didn’t believe in dinosaurs
and my older brother who didn’t believe in anything delightful
and (I don’t care who knows it) my best friend was purple singing Barney.

Bananas, because even if the culinary charm
of the tribe itself escapes you
you still have to admire a bunch
whose droll pretense at being a food
can’t hide their true raison d’etre:
They’re busting out of their skins to make you laugh.

Artificial intelligence, because now that we’ve outgrown all that nonsense
about “electronic brains” who will outsmart us and run the world
we can relax
use our satellite-enabled, chip-powered, Google-enhanced smart phones
to Skype our cousin in Singapore, ask for help with our algebra.

 

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Dungeons and Dragons

My brother Avery greets me beaming, offering me his phone.
A sultry-voiced voice mail, Baby, I miss you already
He’s beaming, but I fear a basilisk arising.
Five wives, four divorces, but this time (I thought) safe at home.

A sultry-voiced chimera, Baby, I miss you already[…]


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Alexander Payne Morgan was born in Savannah, Georgia. His poems have been published in The MacGuffin, Crack The Spine, Dunes Review, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, among others. He was awarded the 2016 Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry by Bayou Magazine and the 2016 Detroit Working Writers MacGuffin Poetry Prize. He’s a member of Detroit Working Writers, Detroit Writers’ Guild, Michigan Writers, the Poetry Society of Michigan, and Springfed Arts. He is a retired industrial mathematician.